Youngsters get chance to learn urban gymnastics

Street Monkeys team perform their stunts on Preston Flag Market. Clockwise from left, Martin Bamber, Damon McQuade, Sean Newsham and Dayle Danyadi
Street Monkeys team perform their stunts on Preston Flag Market. Clockwise from left, Martin Bamber, Damon McQuade, Sean Newsham and Dayle Danyadi

Young people could soon be kicking the moon, thanks to a new academy aimed at teaching urban gymnastics.

The centre will be the first to be set up in the North West that will teach the skills of free running – including moves like Kick the Moon and Corkscrew.

And Sean Delaney, who is behind the idea, is confident there will be plenty of takers.

Sean, 27, was responsible for helping form Preston’s Street Monkeys team, which is described as one of the best free running and 
parkour teams in the region.

Now he is opening up the Street Monkeys Academy in Garstang where the skills, which could be compared to urban gymnastics, can be learnt from scratch.

He said: “We want to engage with kids on the street. Not all of them want to go to a youth club and play pool, so this offers them something completely different.

“I know there’s something like this in Birmingham, but we’ll be different in that we’re going to start with the absolute basics.”

Sean, who formerly worked as a manager with a supermarket chain, gave up his full time job to help develop the Street Monkeys after seeing the youths practising free running in Preston.

He said: “I approached them to ask if there was any way I could help. I just felt they needed structure so they weren’t seen as anti-social.

“They put in a lot of effort and are very dedicated and passionate about what they do.”

Since those early days Sean has invested in developing the team, which now has 10 members, both male and female, and feels ready to take the Street Monkeys to the next level.

One of the original four members, 18-year-old Adam Livesey, from Preston, said: “It’s like a lifestyle, my life wouldn’t be this good without it. I like being inspired and I like to inspire others.”

The academy will initially be based at Garstang School of Gymnastics on Longmoor Lane, Nateby, but Sean hopes to add two more venues.

The academy will use two qualified coaches and Sean stressed the emphasis would be on safety.

Free running is similar to parkour and involves moving from A to B, usually through streets, using a variety of moves and stunts.

The first six-week course will begin on October 26. Bookings should be made online via www.ukstreetmonkeys.com.